Common Future Conversations is a collaboration between Robert Bosch Stiftung and Chatham House’s Communications Department, Africa Programme and Europe Programme.

Common Futures Conversations (CFC) is a new initiative developed by Chatham House and was made possible by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Its goal is to deliver innovative ways for young people in Africa and Europe to engage with politics and develop their perspectives on key global challenges like climate change, conflict or inequality. On the platform young people will be able to engage with experts, discuss their experiences with friends from across the two continents, and share their ideas with high-level politicians and policymakers. The project will provide young people with a ‘seat at the table’ in major policy discussions.

Prior to launching, Chatham House and Robert Bosch Stiftung carried out a scoping and orientation process to inform the design of the platform. Central to the orientation process of CFC was the principle of co-creation. For the platform to truly cater to the preferences of young people (the intended users), they were involved in the design and development of the platform since this initial scoping phase.

Chatham House began by recruiting a core group of 27 representatives from 13 countries in Africa and Europe. Over the course of the past year, Chatham House has brought this group together for three workshops – in London, Addis Ababa and Accra – to discuss the key political challenges facing young people in their communities, execute an international multi-lingual survey, develop discussion topics and inform the overall design of the platform.

The online platform builds on the results of a survey of African and European youth conducted in January 2019. The consultation reached approximately 4500 young people and gathered respondents’ views on political issues, social media preferences and political engagement. The survey indicated that young people feel profoundly disconnected from the decision-makers who represent them and international policy-makers. This disconnect is the key challenge the CFC platform seeks to address.